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HMRC tackles scrap metal tax dodgers

Wednesday 9th November 2011

A new taskforce targeting scrap metal dealers who are deliberately failing to pay the right amount of tax has been launched by H M Revenue & Customs.

The taskforce will pursue scrap metal dealers in Scotland and has been set up to tackle tax evasion where the risk is high. It is one of five taskforces announced that have been set up to tackle tax evasion in different areas of the country.

The new taskforces will target:

* Scrap metal dealers in Scotland, focusing on those who are deliberately suppressing their income or inflating expenditure to evade paying tax;
* Construction traders who are self employed or run their own company who suppress sales or over-claim expenses in the North West and North Wales;
* Taxpayers not submitting their statutory returns across Corporation Tax, Income tax Self Assessment, PAYE and VAT in the South East;
* Fast-food outlets deliberately falsifying their records and mis-declaring their true sales levels to avoid paying the correct taxes in Scotland;
* Landlords – owning or renting three or more properties – evading their tax responsibilities in North West and North Wales.

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of compliance activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations across the UK.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: "We will not tolerate those who break the rules. This taskforce will come down hard on scrap metal dealers and their customers or suppliers who have chosen to break the rules or deliberately evade the tax they should be paying. This is just the start.

"It doesn’t matter who you are - HMRC can and will track you down. You will face a heavy fine, a possible criminal prosecution and ultimately jail. Honest businesses have nothing to worry about.

"Taskforces are a direct result of the Government’s £917million spending review re-investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud, which aims to raise an additional £7billion each year by 2014/15."

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Mike Jones

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